Source: Colorado State University

Temple Grandin, the world-renowned professor in Colorado State University’s (CSU) College of Agricultural Sciences and autism advocate, says her life was changed when she began to ride and work with horses. Now in her 30th year on the Department of Animal Sciences faculty at CSU, Grandin was on hand on Monday, February 10, 2020 for the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Temple Grandin Equine Center on the Foothills Campus.

Grandin, who has autism, says horses changed her life when she began riding and working with them as a child. “I loved to ride them, and working in the barns taught me how to work. I fed them, took care of them and cleaned out nine stalls every day.”

The new facility will serve children with autism, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and seniors with Alzheimer’s or dimentias. It will be home to what may be the leading equine-assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) research program in the world.

The two-phase project is projected to cost $10 million. The first phase to begin this spring will consist of construction of a 40,000-square-foot building featuring a riding arena, classrooms, horse stalls and space for CSU’s Right Horse program To date, CSU has raised $4.7 million of the project cost, and fundraising is ongoing. Projected completion date is January, 2021.

When completed, the Foothills Campus center will elevate CSU’s already renowned EAAT program. The leadership team has already invested thousands of hours in research and practical application, reviewing every known equine-assisted therapy-related study from around the world.

“We are now considered the leader in researching equine-assisted activities and therapy,” said Adam Daurio, director of the Temple Grandin Equine Center. “This will be a place where individuals with physical, emotional and developmental challenges can heal, where therapists can treat, where students can learn, where scientists can research, and where horses can be studied, cared for, and advanced. Our graduates already are the leaders in many aspects of this industry.”

Daurio said CSU’s current EAAT programming already provides services for 70 people per week, and has successfully launched three tracks of research. Students – both undergrads and those working on advanced degrees – do the bulk of the hands-on research and partner with licensed practitioners and certified instructors to host appointments for participating children, veterans and seniors.

Several key donors attended the groundbreaking, and CSU President Joyce McConnell told the gathering how proud she was of the program and the donors who helped make the facility a reality.

CSU hopes to launch the next phase of the facility, which will include a second arena, advanced clinical and therapy facilities, and administration offices in 2024.

For more information, visit Colorado State University.

Learn more about world-renowned animal expert and autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin in A Conversation with Animal Behaviour Expert Dr. Temple Grandin

Main Photo: Dr. Temple Grandin speaks on February 10, 2020 at the ground-breaking of the new Temple Grandin Equine Center. Credit: CSU

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